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School of Law | September 2011 Alumni Briefs

September 2011 Alumni Briefs

D. Jeffrey Ireland ’80 was elected the president of the Dayton Bar Association. Jeff is a partner and cofounder of the Dayton law firm Faruki Ireland & Cox. This is the third year in a row a UDSL alumnus has lead the Bar Association. The previous two presidents were both 1977 graduates: Judge Mary Donovan of the Second District Court of Appeals in Ohio and Tom Whelley II, a partner at Dinsmore & Shol.

In a recent survey by Chambers USA Magazine, Jeff was ranked fourth in litigation in the general commercial individual category for Ohio.

Mark B. Koogler ’80 was named one of the top attorneys in Ohio in the category of corporate and mergers and acquisition by Chambers USA Magazine. Mark is an attorney with the law firm Porter Wright. Working in the firm’s Columbus office, he is the leader of the firm’s Mergers & Acquisition Practice Group.

James D. Piergies ’80, a member of the Montgomery County Municipal Court in Huber Heights, Ohio, is featured in an article in the Huber Heights Courier. Previously, he operated his own law practice, served as vice president of Progressive Paper Company in Middletown, Ohio, was an attorney with the Labor Counsel and worked for the Spalla & Spalla Law Offices in Huber Heights.

Robert O'Dell ’83 was appointed president and general manager of Jouve North America, where he is responsible for consolidating Jouve’s position as a leader in editorial and publishing services as well as e-book conversion. He will work out the company’s New York City’s base. He previously served as president of publishing at SPi and vice president of global data fabrication at LexisNexis.

Jackie Butler ’87 is running for a seat on the City-County Council in Marion County, Indiana. A practicing attorney, Jackie has also served as a deputy prosecutor, sitting judge in Ohio and pro temp judge in Marion County.

Carrie E. Cope ’90 is writing a monthly column, “Coping Skill,” for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. The column addresses issues that lawyers face in law firms and has been well-received in the Chicago area. Her column is republished on her firm’s website.

Carrie is a shareholder and head of the insurance regulatory and specialty lines claim and coverage consulting practice areas at Schuyler, Roche & Crisham P.C. She also serves on the LexisNexis Insurance Law Center Advisory Board.

Joseph F. Dinolfo ’93 was appointed attorney with the Rochester, New York, office of the Mental Hygiene Legal Service for the Fourth Judicial Department. The legal service is an auxiliary agency of the Appellate Division of New York State Supreme Court. Previously, Joseph worked as a general law practitioner handling both civil and criminal matters and as a hearing examiner for the City of Rochester, where he presided over cases involving vehicle and traffic and municipal code violations.

Patrick Merkel ’96 has joined the firm of Cameron Worley, P.C. in Brentwood, Tennessee. Prior to joining the firm, Patrick was chief counsel for fire prevention and law enforcement at the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and counsel to the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission.

Jason Miller ’98 published an article, “A Four-Step Guide for Securing Patent Portfolios after Stanford v. Roche,” on the National Law Review website. The article presents four steps that colleges and universities should implement, based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Stanford v. Roche case in June 2011. Jason is of counsel at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed in Orlando, Florida. He is also cochair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Group.

John A. “Tripp” Fitzner ’00 was elected to the Board of Governors of the 42,000-member State Bar of Georgia. John is the chief assistant district attorney of the Middle Judicial Circuit in Swainsboro, Georgia. As chief assistant district attorney, he handles criminal prosecutions in the five Georgia counties.

Chad A. Sharkey ’00 joined the law firm Morris, Manning & Martin of Durham, North Carolina. Chad is of counsel in the firm’s bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, commercial litigation and construction litigation practices.  He previously worked at Smith Debnam in Raleigh, North Carolina.

John W. Gragg ’02 joined the law firm Frost Brown Todd LLC. Working in the firm’s Louisville office. John will practice in the Real Estate and Lending and Commercial Services Practice Groups. Previously, he was general counsel and chief legal officer for Global Fitness Holdings, which operates the Urban Active fitness centers and is headquartered in Lexington. He also practiced with Stites & Harbison PLLC from 2002-2007. 

Cheryl Lynn Keggan ’04 announced the birth of her granddaughter Jenna Faith Keggan on May 7, 2011, to parents Christopher and Amber Keggan. Jenna joins her big brother, Ean Christopher Keggan.

Anneka (Bettker) Collins ’05 was named as prosecuting attorney of Highland County, Ohio. She is the county’s first female prosecutor. Anneka has served in the Highland County Prosecutor’s Office since 2006.

Chris Seelbach ’05 was invited in June to Washington, D.C., to participate in the White House’s celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. Chris, the CFO and vice president of the national marketing consulting firm The Seidewitz Group, is also running for a seat on the Cincinnati City Council.

Sasha VanDeGrift ’06 has won the Ohio State Bar Foundation’s District 2 Community Service Award for Attorneys 40 and under. She will formally receive this recognition next spring. Sasha is a litigation associate at Coolidge Wall in Dayton and chair of the Dayton Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division.

Sheila Hughes ’07 was designated “Trustee of the Year” by the Atlantic County Bar Association. She received her two-year term as a bar association trustee in June 2010. Sheila is an associate with Cooper Levenson, where she works in the firm’s Atlantic City office focusing on commercial and business law matters.

Michele Thomas ’07 joined the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Library as a full time as a tenure-track Law Library faculty member. After spending the 2010-2011 academic year as a visiting professor, Michele was hired as an assistant professor of law librarianship and catalog/reference librarian.

Molly Bolek ’08 was sworn in as assistant prosecutor in Highland County, Ohio, where she grew up. She has worked as a caseworker for Highand County Children Services, a legal intern and hearing officer for Montgomery County, Ohio, Child Support Enforcement Agency and as special assistant prosecuting attorney in Fairfield County.

William Brendan Neal ’09 has joined the Armstrong Law Office in St. Joseph, Michigan, as an associate. His primary areas of practice are criminal defense, expungements, driver license restoration and CPS administrative hearings. He previously interned at the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., and the Montgomery County, Ohio, Public Defender’s Office.

Rebecca Greendyke ’10 and Stephen E. Schilling ’10 cowrote “How to Win a CALI Award: Some Personal Advice from Two Law Students Who Have Done It,” which was published in the latest edition of the University of Dayton Law Review. Rebecca is a patent attorney with the U.S. Air Force and works at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. Stephen is serving as a judicial law clerk for U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett of the Southern District of Ohio in Cincinnati.

José Rocha ’11 reports that he is pursuing a master of public service and administration, with a certificate in advanced international affairs, at The George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. On July 2, 2011, José married Jennifer L. Pence in Bastrop, Texas.

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